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Community Partnerships

Community engaged projects prepare our students to become leaders in the agri-food sector through experiential learning, while providing partner organizations with a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team to work through a challenge identified by the partner.

Partnership Requirements

To ensure a mutually beneficial experience for the partner and for the students, projects must fit the following guidelines.

The challenge has the potential to create a project that results in some demonstrable output by April 2020 (report, new product, event, demonstration, toolkit, etc.)

The project is of appropriate scope (4-5 students committing ~8-10 hours per week for 6 months).

Topic of the challenge is in agri-food and relates to the following goals and objectives:

Global scale – to transform agriculture’s impact on biodiversity Landscape scale – to sustainably intensify food production Micro-scale – to enhance food safety and livestock health

The partner organization has a “point-person” who is interested and dedicated to working closely with the student team. This person will be able to commit to regular check-ins with student team, and with the AFI Education Coordinator.

For more information, please contact: Jeanna Rex, Education Coordinator at

AAFC provides leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. To better understand the innovative approaches community organizations used to increase individual and household access to food during Covid-19, a team of students reviewed food insecurity initiatives that emerged across the country and invited some of those organizations to participate in further study.

Read the student team blog >>

The Nutritious Food Workstream is a Smart Cities Our Food Future initiative with a goal of increasing access to affordable, nutritious food by 50% by 2025.  To learn more about food availability, affordability and marketing of nutritious foods in food retail settings, students interviewed managers, owners and operators of local grocery and convenient stores to gain perspective about accessibility, marketing and access to promote healthier food and gauge interest for future interventions.

Read the student team blog >>

SAI Platform is a non-profit organization created in 2002 by members of the food and beverage sector who wanted a pre-competitive platform to discuss common sustainability challenges across the agricultural supply chain. The student team conducted interviews with sustainability managers, farmers and other actors at every level of the supply chain to compile positive examples to showcase the ability of farming to be part of the solution.

Seed Voyage is a digital platform created to share the bounty of backyard gardens by connecting growers to eaters . The student team partnered with an established local community organization and created an outreach plan that will help Seed Voyage establish a user group in SW Ontario that has enough eaters and growers to promote regular activity on the digital platform.

Read the student team blog >>

Cellular Agriculture is a nationwide interdisciplinary not-for-profit organization shaping the cellular agriculture industry in Canada.  New Harvest is a non-profit research institute that supports open, public cultured meat research. To inform business models that can transform or complement current animal-based models, the student teams created and distributed surveys to consumers, livestock farmers, meat processors, and retailers to understand their thoughts about cellular agriculture.



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Feedback Blog

FeedBack is a blog contributed to by the Arrell Food Institute and Food From Thought graduate students on their experiences in the program.

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